I think I’ve pretty much established how much I respect Logh with The Most Beautiful Album You Don’t Own. Now with their fourth album, this Swedish six-piece seems set on shedding their “obscure guitar band” label and become something a bit more substantial.
Upon first listen it is evident that Logh is expanding their sound. The gloomy guitar delays make room for piano, organ and acoustic guitar. Singer Mattias Friber is no longer hiding behind the band and is actually singing rather than donating his voice to a collection of instruments. The melodies are straight-forward, almost echoing…er…A-Ha. In a sense, this is Logh’s Deserter’s Songs. But does it work?
North consists of 10 songs, of which at least 7 start with either a piano or an acoustic guitar and break into huge drums halfway through. This formula is exciting at times, but gets tired after a while. Logh’s main selling point (the guitars) is greatly amiss. While some bands like Mercury Rev or The Flaming Lips manage to replace the guitars with interesting sounds and exciting studio magic, North stays true to the real band experience. In a sense, the organic sound of the piano allows the band members to emphasize their newly found interest in writing great songs.
It’s these songs that make or break the album in the end of day. It takes a few listens to fully comprehend Logh’s new approach to songwriting, but after a while you find yourself right at home with the beautiful melodies. Notable tracks are album opener “Saturday Nightmares” and “All the Trees.” But the stand out track is “Thieves in the Palace.” This 8-minute masterpiece showcases all that Logh has to offer. It’s a beautiful tune with epic guitars that takes you on an emotional ride that is probably worth the price of the whole album.
Overall, North is a good album. It is nice to hear a band’s foray into a bigger, shinier production (apparently their last album was recorded in a day) without necessarily “selling out.” While Every Time a Bell Rings, An Angel Gets His Wings is second to none, North is still a highly recommended album for both Logh fans and new would-be fans.
originally posted on ThePlugg.com